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Gators make playoffs
BA defeats Pinewood
110510 BA FOOTBALL 01
Pinewood tacklers bounce off Bulloch Academy running back Lestonz Lewis his on his way to an 81 touchdown run just before the half Friday.

          It was the first time it had happened in seven years and it happened in a really, really big way.

The Gators rolled up 546 yards of total offense as they trounced arch-rival Pinewood Christian Academy 42-0 on Senior Night to advance to the first round of the GISA Class AAA playoffs.

“It feels good to get the monkey off of our backs,” said BA head coach Clint Morgan, whose Gators have never beaten the Patriots during his tenure. “I can’t say enough about the seniors. They all stepped up their games tonight.”

            With the win, the Gators (7-3 overall and 5-3 in region play) claim the third seed in Region 1-AAA and will face Mount de Sales, the second seeded team from Region 2-AAA. The undefeated Cavaliers were upset 21-20 by Tattnall Square Friday night in the region championship game.

            “It’s a great feeling to know that our first year in Triple-A, that we secured a playoff spot,” said Morgan. “It’s a tribute to our seniors. They have stepped it up the past couple of weeks and became leaders.”

            The senior backfield of quarterback Brandon Walker, fullback Lestonz Lewis and wingbacks Ellis Lane and Morris Prince combined for 488 yards and six touchdowns.

            Lewis led with 191 yards and three scores, Walker tallied 153 and a two-point conversion, Lane pounded out 73 and two TDs and Prince had 71 and one touchdown.

            Walker ran the option almost to perfection, reading the defense with uncanny ability. He opened the game on a 53-yard option keeper. On the night, he had seven runs of 10 yards or more. His most productive read was to follow the fake to his fullback and slice back against the grain, where he picked his way to big gainers. 

            “Brandon’s a big-game player,” said Morgan. “His confidence and ability showed tonight.”

            Lewis scored on the game’s second play, a 14-yard toss which benefitted from great blocking on the corner and downfield. He also had an 81-yard burst up the middle in the second quarter, where he showed why he is the GISA’s reigning 100 and 200-yard dash champion, and a 26-yard jaunt in the third quarter.

            Lane scored on a 14-yard blast in the second quarter and then ran over and through defenders for a 34-yard score in the fourth quarter. Prince added a four-yard plunge in the third.

            “I feel good anytime the ball is in any of their hands,” said Morgan.

            The Gator offensive line, although flagged for holding several times, pushed the Patriots around and opened up huge holes for the BA backs.

            The Patriots (1-9, 1-7) hung tough in the first quarter and early in the second. They stopped a Gator drive on a fourth-and-three situation at their own 38-yard line late in the first quarter. They also converted on a fourth-and-one early in the second quarter on a fake punt.

            But the Gators proved too much for the visitors from Bellville.

            Bulloch’s defense shut down Patriot running attack as seniors Jonathan Lumpkin, James Brack and Blaine Lovett put a hurting on PCA runners. The BA first-string ‘D’ allowed only 48 yards through three and a half quarters.

            The Gators rolled to a 21-0 halftime lead and a 35-0 advantage after three quarters.

            But Morgan and his charges don’t have long to savor the victory. They have already begun to prepare for the playoff contest.

            “We scrimmaged them (Mount de Sales) in the preseason so we have that film,” said Morgan. “Preparing for next week’s game began about 30 minutes after we finished tonight.”